VIDEO: Women Unbound 1-Year Anniversary Event – “Transformation”

If you follow me on social media, you may have seen me talking about a talk I delivered last Saturday in my hometown. The video is live, for those who may be interested in checking it out.

It was an incredible opportunity to return to Toledo for this talk.  I’m incredibly grateful to Lorraine Cipriano and Kayla Williams, the organizers of Women Unbound who invited me to speak both at last year’s launch and this year’s anniversary.  Special thanks also to Randy Nissen from Toledo Early College High School, who records the Women Unbound talks and brings a boatload of TECHS kids (who, I might add, I always find to be some of the most intelligent, mature, and overall amazing high school kids I’ve ever met.)

For Publishing Grad Students: The Importance of Woll’s Publishing for Profit

Publishing for Profit, 2010 edition by Thomas WollIt’s not really news that I recommend Thomas Woll’s Publishing for Profit.  The book was one of the first I purchased in the fall of 2012 when I started at Rosemont College’s graduate publishing program, and my copy is one of the most-referenced books I own.

In fact, I reference Publishing for Profit so frequently that it’s also my number one most recommended title for new students at Rosemont.  When a new student asked me this fall what books I think she should read as she starts the program, I told her to get a copy of Publishing for Profit and keep it near her desk, because I’ve used it almost every single semester of graduate school.

The class I used it for most often, though it wasn’t required reading for the course, was a class I took called Maintaining & Operating a Small Press.  The course has since changed, and it’s taught by a different professor now, but at the time, the main project in the course was to create a (fake) small press, manage the titles the press would publish, and create a business plan to project how the press would run.

Publishing for Profit offers incredible advice for nearly all aspects of running a publishing company.  My endgame as a publishing graduate student has always been to either found or work at a small press, so not only did the course help me gain the skills I’d been looking for, but so did Publishing for Profit.

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Pub Hub Overview

Last night marked my third time attending Rosemont College‘s Pub Hub, and once again, I had a fantastic time!  As I’m working on my final capstone project this year, I rarely have the opportunity to meet other students in the program, so this was my first chance to meet some of the newer students — or, in some cases, interact with them for more than a couple minutes.

First off, some of my program colleagues had some terribly exciting things happen!  It was exciting to check out some of their achievements from this semester.

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September Starbox Review

I’ve been receiving the Starbox monthly subscription from Starlooks for a few months now, and despite my initial hesitation (I pretty much bought the first subscription because it featured a band I like), I was super impressed with the makeup that arrived, and I’ve been pretty loyally using the makeup that arrives each month as I go along.

(For reference, my favorite thing to arrive so far has been the blush palette from August 2014’s box.  I use it probably 4 days a week in varying combinations.  The eyeshadow from July 2014 has also been excellent, though that’s more of a night-out thing for me.)

This month’s box contained four items:

September 2014 Starbox makeup subscription box

  • Kohl Eye Pencil in Oracle
  • Lip Pencil in Roseate
  • STARLOOKS Lashes
  • Single Shadow Compact in Tan Glow

Typically, my main focus for makeup is definitely around my eyes — I love having fun colors around my eyes, and I also like to give my eyes a little more definition — so I was very excited to see both an eyeliner and a shadow in this month’s box.  The first Starbox I received, the July 2014 box, had the eyeliner pencil and single shadow compact in different shades, which I use pretty consistently.

On the other hand, I’ve never used false lashes before, and lip pencils are a little confusing to me.  (If I do anything with my lips beyond a layer of lip balm, it’s normally sliding on a coat of lipstick before running to an event.)

Still, I was excited to check out everything in the box.  Individual reviews for each item below the jump!

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The Job by Jove Belle

From Goodreads:

FBI agent Sera Warren has been working undercover to track a domestic terrorist group to its origins. When her cover is blown, her priority shifts from closing her case to just making it through the day alive. She ends up in the middle of a bank heist, pointing a gun at her ex-girlfriend, Torrence “Tor” Jewel. She sees a flicker of recognition in Tor’s eyes as she pulls her gun and yells, “On the floor!”

Before Tor can fully register that “the one who got away” is standing in front of her, she’s pushed facedown onto the floor. Sera might as well shoot her now because as soon as she gets up, Tor’s going to kill her. Or kiss her. She’s still undecided.

First, they have to survive their reunion, then they can worry about happily ever after.

When I found this title on NetGalley, I was a little hesitant despite how intrigued I was by the summary.  Romance isn’t typically up my alley, and neither are thrillers.  Intrigue won out, though, and here we are now.

I definitely didn’t regret it.  The style is straightforward and fun, and the pacing feels great for a thriller.  The book starts in the middle of action, no setup, and Sera’s immediately thrust into a dangerous adventure largely involving her cover being totally, completely blown.

Sera’s voice was one of my favorite things about the book, though it’s told from both Sera and Tor’s perspectives.  Sera is very, very funny.  I love how she thinks of things, I love how she talks — especially to Marcus, the leader of the group robbing the bank — and I love the way she thinks and talks about Tor, who is obviously incredibly important to her even 10 years after their relationship dissolved.

The romance aspect of the book was pretty satisfying, as well.  I’m a huge sucker for childhood friend-style love stories, and while Sera and Tor aren’t quite childhood friend-level, their college sweetheart story really gets me where it counts.  The book has flashbacks to their time together during college, and seeing the two of them during their younger days and comparing it to the women they’ve become is fun and very sweet, since their early relationship has a good balance of awkward and innocent and fun.

That being said, there wasn’t much that really stuck out about this book for me.  It was a fun adventure and an exciting ride, but not particularly innovative — just pure entertainment.  Recommended more for the thriller aspect than the romance aspect – there’s lots of shooting and a bit of bank robbery-related gore.

3.5 out of 5 stars

ARC received via NetGalley.

Flash Review, Issue #005

Here are a few short reviews of books I’ve read in the past month.

The Screaming Divas by Suzanne Kamata

Provided by the publisher for review. Find Suzanne’s interview at Girls in Capes.

When I started this book, I was expecting something more along the lines of a book about a band, with a lot of practicing and concerts, but the book ended up reading more like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants except with a punk band instead of magic jeans.

Originally, I’d set this book aside because the first chapter didn’t hook me, but I’m glad I ended up following through, because as it turns out, the character (Trudy) whose point of view is shown in the first chapter is the least interesting and relatable.  I enjoyed each of the other three girls’ plotlines, especially Esther’s, and I found some of my own life experiences reflected in Harumi.  Cassie was my favorite of the girls, though I didn’t quite like the progression of her plot.

The Screaming Divas was a fascinating read after that initial bump, but the strange change of pace towards the end and the overall plot wasn’t really for me.  However, the book has fascinating diversity and represents each character in what I find to be a very fair way.

3 out of 5 stars

Kindred by Octavia Butler

Purchased for the Girls in Capes book club.

Octavia Butler’s been on my list a long time, and KINDRED was an incredible introduction to this prolific science fiction author.  Following a woman as she gets yanked back and forth in time between the present day (1976) and the antebellum South, the novel is harsh and emotionally difficult in the best kind of way.

Its emotional difficulty will turn many readers off, but this book is an important one to read, especially for those interested in history.  Despite its genre, KINDRED is an obviously well-researched and deeply thoughtful read.

5 out of 5 stars